Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Living on an Intern's Budget

For those of us who don't have the luxury of getting paid while in D.C., money can be tough at times. Here are few money saving tips to keep your bank account from hating you:

  • Trader Joe's- While our good man Joe tends charge more for baking products like sugar, flour and chocolate chips (crucial ingredients in the survival of our apartment), things like cereal, milk, eggs and frozen food tend to cost less than a Safeway, CVS or Whole Foods. While I will admit the cereal selection is more limited than other store, $1.99 for some Joe-Os instead of $5.99 for some Cheerios adds up to big savings after three months.

  • Try the Circulator- Metro rides can get expensive. The Circulator is only $1 no matter where you're going and took me all the way from Georgetown to Union Station. However, be wary riding it home after work- traffic is terrible and it could take you a couple hours.

  • Pack a lunch- Even in the Senate Cafeteria where they don't charge tax, buying lunch everyday will inevitably take a toll on your wallet. Try and pack lunch 3-4 days a week and you'll end up saving a ton. Also, if you do work in the Senate, be wary of the salad bar! They weight your food and it can end up costing you $25 for a iceberg lettuces salad.

  • Drink the coffee/tea at work- While we may all have a soft spot for Starbucks, its definitely not the most economical way to take in our daily dose of caffeine. Most offices will make a pot- or three, or four- of coffee each morning. Save your $5 and grab a cup of joe from the office kitchen.